Karajan - Strauss Don Quixote - Audiophile Audition

13 June 2012
Audiophile Audition
Peter Joelson
5 Stars

Recorded in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche during December 1965 (Don Quixote) and March 1973 (Horn Concerto No. 2), these wear their years very lightly indeed, and the recordings benefit a good deal from their 24/96 clothing.

Pierre Fournier and Giusto Cappone make a very eloquent duo and Hauptmann's horn is ear-catchingly realistic and played with seemingly effortless virtuosity.  Karajan brings out the best in Strauss, a composer even his more irrational detractors grudgingly admit he had a way with.  And there's no evidence of conductorial interference in the control-room here, either.  These long-lived wonders of the catalogue will be so well-known to many readers, but I, for one, heard so much more detail in these high resolution files, I was captivated afresh.  High resolution alternatives include two recordings with Mischa Maisky (with Zubin Mehta or Vladimir Ashkenazy) which I haven't heard, and a less recommendable version from Dresden with Fabio Luisi, well-played but with less character than Karajan brings out.

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Related Links

Berliner PhilharmonikerBerliner Philharmoniker
Herbert von KarajanHerbert von Karajan
R Strauss: Don Quixote; Horn Concerto No. 2R Strauss: Don Quixote; Horn Concerto No. 2